Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vetivresse presents The Holiday Wine and Scent Seminar

Love the thrill of a robust, earthy Burgundy?
Have dreams about vintage Champagne?
Own a small fortune in fragrance?
Think you have an acute sense of smell?
(Considering insuring your nose?)
Or just starting out?

Christopher Voigt, writer and Editor of, a WSET®-certified sommelier will lead one 2-hour seminar exploring the shared seduction of wine and perfume on December 15. The seminar will take place in Manhattan and will be limited to 15 participants.

We will explore 6 vintage wines from my personal cellar and 6 fragrances, with light hors d’oeuvres and cheese. From the hazelnut splendors of Meursault “Perrières” to the delicate spice of Chinon “Picasses” and the gunflint and fruit of a 1989 Mosel Auslese ... all the way to the pinnacle of honeyed French dessert wines – it is sure to be an evening ripe with revelations for the beginner and seasoned wine lover alike.

Two additional seminars will be offered in January. A perfect holiday gift for that busy spouse, friend or loved one who wants to learn more about the world of wine and scent.

The cost of the seminar is $150. Reservations can be made at Please reply by December 5.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cherry Ripe: Sicilian Vespers & The Perfect Supper Wine

Over the weekend a friend and I had a late post-concert supper at the Time Warner location of Landmarc, the pleasantly bustling eatery overlooking Columbus Circle. Neither of us was particularly in the mood for a huge meal, making this the perfect spot to sample some excellent wine and some small portions. One of the things I love about Landmark is that practically every plate is offered as a half-portion. We ordered the pasta of the day––a spaghetti Bolognese––and some boudin noir with pommes frites. As for wine, the 2005 Gaunoux Bourgogne ($46) would compliment both dishes and provide enjoyment throughout the entire meal; except they had just opened their last bottle about a half-hour before we sat down. So I consulted the list again and almost immediately zeroed in on a 2006 Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico from Azienda Agricola Cos ($48).

“Cerasuolo” means “cherry-red” in Sicilian, and indeed it was, with pristine clarity and hue. Even before bringing the glass to my nose, I could assess the weight and rusticity––all those qualities that the rest of the evening would allow it to bring out. The wine had a gorgeous cherry nose and palate, a nice dose of spices and, most importantly, the terroir that I was looking for in my first bottle selection. Still quite youthful and full of luscious berry fruit, its lighter weight appealed and didn’t overpower the casual, simply prepared food.

Made from a blend of Nero d’Avola and Frapato grapes (60/40) grown in sandy, tufa-rich soil and fermented in stainless steel, Cerasuolo usually doesn’t see new wood. That said, if deep, rich, high-alcohol oaky reds are your thing, this won’t do the trick. But for me it’s got just the right dose of old world charm. While some vintages can be cellared for a decade or more, the vast majority of bottles are intended for enjoyment in the short term.

If you are a Burgundy-lover but want something for everyday quaffing at a recession-proof price, Cerasuolo is where it’s at. As the Sicilians say, Quannu amuri tuppulìa, 'un lu lassari 'nmenzu la via. (Roughly translated as,“When love knocks, be sure to answer.”)